The loop or Lippes loop is a type of contraceptive device that is inserted into the uterus. It is thought to prevent the fertilized egg from implanting in the uterine wall and provides long term contraception that may be easily reversed by removing the device.
The loop is constructed from polyethylene a type of flexible plastic and has the shape of a double "S". It comes in different sizes and your doctor will choose the size that is adequate for you. Two strings are present at the lower end of the device. The color of the strings varies according to the size of the loop.
Your doctor will review your medical history and perform a physical examination to find whether you can safely use the loop.
The Loop comes with an introducer and insertion tube which are sterilized. The loop is straightened out and passed through the insertion tube. Together they are inserted through the cervix into the uterus. Once in the uterus, the insertion tube is removed and the loop assumes it regular shape which prevents its expulsion from the uterus. The strings come out through the cervix and can be felt within the vagina or visualized by a doctor to check whether the loop is in place. After insertion of the loop, you are advised to visit your doctor at the completion of your next menstrual period and at least once a year after that.
The strings also facilitate removal of the device if necessary. This should be performed by your doctor. The strings are located, grasped and pulled drawing the device out with minimal discomfort.
Application of the loop may occasionally be associated with complications such as back ache, cervical infection, bleeding, uterine perforation, bowel obstruction, painful intercourse and problems with menstruation.